You can call the forthcoming Google Stadia platform many things, but don't call it a "Netflix for games."
Via Reddit, Andrew Doronichev, director of product for Stadia at Google, said "a closer comparison would be like Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus."
Doronichev issued the clarification to one user's question about how the system's selection of free games would work. The user claimed that, in conjunction with the service's paid subscription service with a wide selection of games, the idea of free ones was "confusing due to mixed messages."
He explained further that Pro subscribers will get 4K resolution / HDR streaming, game discounts and and access to a selection of some free games as well as 5.1 sound. That equates to around a free game each month, "give or take, starting with Destiny 2 (yay!)" he noted.
It's simple to misunderstand what you get when you sign up for Stadia, however. The Stadia Pro option costs around the same price per month as a Netflix subscription, except you have to pay full price for new games that arrive on Stadia. In addition, the official Stadia website points out that Pro subscribers unlock an "ever-expanding library of games at no extra cost."
To many, that appears to indicate a selection of games you can simply browse through and play at your leisure, much like how you can pay a flat fee each month to access a listing of Xbox One titles via the Xbox Game Pass, which recently opened up to allow users to play some titles on PC in addition to their consoles.
"But hey," said Doronichev. "Stadia Base gives you free access to the state-of-the-art gaming hardware in our datacenter ;) You spend your money to buy games you want." Yes, but that is, indeed, how other models and platforms work already.
However, if you look on the bright side, games will continue to debut each month until a small cache has been created, meaning subscribers will eventually have multiple titles to choose from.
Stadia is poised to drop in November 2019 for early adopters, and for those who pony up $130 for the "Founder's Edition" version, it will launch with several titles, including some exclusive to the platform. The Founder's Edition come with a limited-edition dark blue version of the proprietary Stadia controller as well as a Chromecast Ultra to plug into your TV so you can begin streaming. Both are $70 purchased separately, so you'll save a bit of cash and will also get to select a username on the service before everyone else.
We've yet to see how Stadia will perform or what it will end up looking like, but it'll be interesting to see just how much it actually is removed from being the "Netflix of games" in the future.